Monday, February 22, 2010

Sun poisoning in Seattle

For all pictures (Click Me)

I have been feeling a little antsy lately and knowing that it was about time to head up into the woods. I was supposed to go a few weekends ago but I had a really busy week at work and did not have a chance to pack during the week. Well this past week was really busy too but I made myself head down to the garage and pack up my gear Friday after I got home at 7:00pm. Luckily I have been pre planning trips lately so all I had to do was print out a map and load a little info into the GPS and I was ready to head out the door.

I had been thinking about getting out for quite a while and the original plan was to try the Alaska Lake trip that I bailed on last time when I was not feeling so well. So, all week I was thinking I was going to head out there and then Friday I pulled up the weather report and it said warm and bluebird skies all weekend. Hmmmm, I had Artist Point on my list of winter camping spots and the view was why it was there. So, after a quick change of plan I printed out a different map, reloaded the GPS with the new destination.

The trip was pretty easy. Getting there was a snap. You just head up to Mt Baker upper parking lot, tell them you are staying overnight and head up with no passes or parking fees required. I walked on the edge of the ski resort the first mile and then had around 2 miles up to my campsite. I was snowshoeing in a tshirt it was so warm. Ahhhhh, I sure did miss the sun!!

Words cannot describe the scenery up there. I have to say that the Mt Baker area is one of the top 5 prettiest places I have ever been. As you climb you have a view of Mt Shuksan off to the left, a few huge back country ski bowls off to the right and as you begin to crest the ridge Mt Baker comes into view. Even though the ski resort is close by I could not really tell and felt as though I should have had to work much harder to make it to this place.

I got to my campsite around 2pm and started digging in. After a few scoops of snow I was so warm the tshirt even had to come off!! So after I dug my campsite into the side of the hill and was satisfied that I had everything all leveled off I setup camp, dug out some snacks, pulled my sleeping pad out into the sun and read my book for a few hours.

Eventually I put the book away and decided I would head up to Artist Point (a few hundred feet up the hill from my campsite) and see the view from there.

I discovered a few other people camped out up on top of the point and was happy to have my campsite all to myself.

I spent the afternoon reading, watching snowshoers and skiers head down the distant peaks and came to the conclusion that I have to quit thinking about getting a back country setup and just do it. I cannot imagine a better weekend than heading in a few miles to camp out and then mixing in a few ski runs.

Sunday I woke up to a carbon copy of Saturday. Blue skies and mid 40s. I was planning to snowshoe a little and explore but decided to repeat Saturday by dragging my sleeping pad outside, building up a snow recliner to set my pad in, and read my book. I took it easy in the sun for 3-4 hours before packing up and heading home.

I felt a little woozy the whole drive home and all night which I think was minor sun poisoning. Or maybe my body just forgot what to do with vitamin D. Either way I have a little tan and feel like all of the stress has been burned out of me. I can't wait to get back up to the mount baker area with some ski gear next time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Weekend

Last weekend instead of just having valentines day we decided to turn it into a weekend.

Friday we went to see Presidents of the USA.  It was a pretty sweet deal as the tickets were a Christmas gift from Palmer.  We got there a little early so rather than wait in line we headed over to a bar across the street I had been wanting to check out and had a relaxing drink. It was nice to unwind after the week so after our beer we headed over to the show. This is a band that I liked a long time ago so I figured it would be one of those "oh yea I remember that song" kind of bands. It was one of the most fun shows I have been to in a long time. The lead singer has at least as much energy as he did 10 years ago, and maybe more. We got out of the show around 11:30 or so and headed home for the night.

We slept in saturday and after running some errands (yay oil change!) we headed downtown to the aquarium. We took a cab down so we would not have to worry about parking or getting the car broken into (happened to the 4runner again last week). We walked through the market and got a snack, picked up some tea natalie wanted and headed to look at the aquarium. We got down there about 4 and spent two hours walking around. It is a really nice aquarium. Atlanta's (my hometown) is probably nicer just by being so new but this one was really fun. They put a lot of mini tanks down low to the floor so kids can walk right up. There is a huge touch tank section that was filled with kids. We wrapped up just as they announced they were closing which was perfect timing. We walked up to grab dinner and since we were early we walked over to the new 4 seasons and had a drink in the bar. After a little relaxing there we went to dinner right under the market at il bistro and had a long relaxing dinner. After dinner we were not quite ready to head home so we walked over to a little bar overlooking the sound that we had seen while we were walking up from the aquarium and had a final drink of the evening. Then we caught a cab home and passed out. Sunday was just a relaxing get things done day and we finished the weekend watching the opening ceremonies that we had recorded.

Such a relaxing weekend and I think valentines should be a weekend event from now on.